It is so easy to complain. Many women bash their partner to their girlfriends. Whining to someone else rather than having a truthful dialogue with your partner is not a good idea. Reading an entire stack of books that places all the blame on one person is a tragic stance. Just the titles of the books pictured here give the appearance of only one person being involved in the problems. It ALWAYS takes two. If this is your stack of books, try making some “I”¬†statements instead of the more convenient “you, you, you”. We love the simplicity and comfort of hiding out in blame. It’s too easy to take comfort in being a victim. Hurt should not be a demand that erases the other person, unless there is abuse. Adults in their 40’s and up, really should be able to wrestle with the greater complicatedness truth offers.

Your friends may become very negative about who your partner is, based on transitory feelings. There are three huge problems that go along with this behavior:  Friends will start to listen to you solely blaming the other person without any imagination that you also have a part in the problem. Then they become prejudiced and begin to see you as a victim.

Another huge problem is that you begin to see yourself as a victim. “He’s so terrible, poor me,” is a very bad place to even begin to solve relationship problems. There needs to be a deeper understanding that you are a part of the problem. Are you silently hoarding resentments and expecting him to be psychic? The expectation that “if he really loved me, he would know what I want,” is simply a way to avoid the responsibility of asking. Silence is a big problem in relationships. It is your burden to speak up and reveal what’s important to you. Letting resentments collect, creates distance that you are responsible for.

A third problem is that a pattern of simply complaining creates a real lack of respect. Your friends look at your partner without respect and worse, you’ve lost respect. Respect is crucial for relationship survival. Loss of respect is the primary path to divorce.

The solution is to bring your complaints home and dialogue about what’s missing in the relationship. It’s easier to spew them out, all over everyone else. Anger should not be so consistent that it becomes the third person in the room. Honestly talking about hard things while respecting there are two points of view, and they both matter, is worth the hard work.

It you are a friend listening to someone doing this over and over, you might forward this blog post or ask them to consider going home, being awkward and trying to talk with their partner instead of you.

Don’t tell a friend your partner is boring if you haven’t risked telling him/her yourself. If you don’t let him/her know, then you are part of the problem. You are allowing the boredom to continue instead of acknowledging the “Us” deserves problem solving together.

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About the Rhoda Mills Sommer

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